Today, September 15, the New People’s Army (NPA) in Northern Samar remembers the martyrs of the infamous Sag-od Massacre who died fighting Marcos despotism. NPA-Rodante Urtal Command vows to exact justice by advancing the people’s war right in front of the impervious faces of Duterte and the Marcoses.
Thirty-seven years ago today, the entire village of Sag-od in Las Navas town was almost wiped out by Ferdinand Marcos’ band of mercenary cabals. They were rounded-up, forced to surrender as NPAs, not to mention the dozens of women sexually exploited before the heinous massacre of 45 peasants.
It was mercilessly executed by armed protectors of San Jose Timber Corporation operating in the same municipality, the largest logging concession awarded by the despot to his right-hand and Martial Law administrator, Juan Ponce-Enrile.
Families and kins of Sag-od Massacre victims have been recently awarded monetary reparation owing to pressures from democratic sectors in the country. But even the accumulated ill-gotten wealth of the kleptocrat tyrant is palliative consolation and could not cover-up such historical injustice during the US-Marcos reign of terror.
Not in any way will it succeed to pacify the people’s escalating resentment against the AFP and its paramilitary auxiliaries, whose cold-blooded executions of murder – then and now – has resurrected the same specter of Marcos and Enrile’s evils in the countryside.
Under Oplan Kapayapaan of the US-Duterte regime, Army troops in the province commanded by the 803rd Infantry Brigade continue to disregard human rights, usurp “socio-civic” functions of the civil bureaucracy, bully civilian authorities and harass democratic organizations in the countryside.
As in the case of present-day Las Navas and Lope de Vega towns, elements of the AFP encamp within and around public utilities, build foxholes and plant landmines surrounding schools, exposing innocent students and teachers highly-vulnerable to explosions. Just as how it was before the killing spree in Sag-od, fascist troops round-up villagers and browbeat men and women to declare themselves as NPAs so as to stage “en masse surrenders”.
But Oplan Kapayapaan is miserably failing. The persistent people’s movement and strengthening armed resistance is indicative that the Filipino people despise the Marcosian US-Duterte regime.
With skyrocketing costs of commodities, increasing unemployment rate, minimum wage nailed at extremely low levels, contractualization of workers and land-grabbing through agriculture liberalization schemes, the Filipino masses are killed not just by a barrel of a gun but by the lethal economic condition bred by a government who kowtows to big landlords and compradors like Enrile.
Just as Marcos himself brought the best sons and daughters of the motherland to the countryside,
Duterte’s tyranny ceates its boomerang that will usher its own downfall.
Since the second half of the year, the Rodante Urtal Command has launched at least nine successful tactical offensives in the province, including the August 10 raid of the Municipal Police Station in Lapinig town where RUC seized ten M-16 Armalite Rifles, two 9-mm Pistol, three laptop computers and other important equipment and documents.
Last September 4, a unit of RUC harassed a detachment of the 20th Infantry Batallion
(20th IB) in Barangay Geparayan in Silvino Lobos. This left four (4) soldiers dead and nine (9) were wounded while there was no casualty from the ranks of the NPA. Five days after, RUC sniped the Peace and Development Team (PDT) of the 20th IB based in Barangay Tubang in the same town, leaving two soldiers dead.
The people are more resolute, now more than ever, that only the continuing advance and ultimate victory of the People’s Democratic Revolution will bring forth genuine justice to Sag-od Massacre victims and all who have been victims of the unjust ruling system.#